One thing I’m most looking forward to in this next season of the Brilliant Community is inviting friends to share some of their brilliant perspectives with us. Today, I’ve asked one of my closest friends to do just that.
Christa and Luke are part of our family. Christa is affectionately known as #4 in my list of daughters. I am Grandpa to their kiddos and absolutely love hanging out with these guys. They are Beloved in my household.
Working with Christa is a blast. She is fun, witty, incredibly talented, and anointed. I love the effect her messages have on people, and I hope you love her writings as much as I do.
When I wake up most mornings, the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and I could pretty much sing ‘Supercalifragalisticexpialidotious’ after opening my eyes. My husband, however, is a night owl and needs a cup or two of coffee in the AM before his grunts turn into actual words.
So because I’m the morning person in our family, I’ve been the primary parent to get up first with our son Moses, making sure he’s had breakfast in front of him. And on the majority of those mornings, as I’ve poured him yet another bowl of cereal, I’ve felt intense feelings of inadequacy.
That voice in my head would be screaming…
“Christa, your mom would never have just fixed cereal! She got up an hour early to make sure you had breakfast FROM SCRATCH. You SHOULD be more like her, making your family coffee cake, homemade biscuits, eggs, fresh fruit, or juicing or making smoothies like you had as a child!
Christa, you SHOULD be more like a picture off of Pinterest!
Christa, you SHOULD be making sure your family is getting better nutrition!
Christa, you SHOULD be more like Danielle, the ‘Against All Grain’ mom on Instagram!
Christa, you SHOULD BE MORE THAN YOU ARE! Because YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH!”
Now you have to understand, none of these thoughts have ever been conscious. In fact, almost every one of them grew from my subconscious mind. So how do I know that they’re there?
Because I’ve FELT them down in my bones. I’ve FELT like I’m not enough as a mother. As a friend. As a speaker. As a musician. As a daughter. As a wife. As a Christian.
When you feel like you’re not enough, you’re going to act like it.
And that behavior’s just not okay.
Awhile back, as I poured Moses his usual bowl of cereal, trying to justify my inadequate feelings with, “Well, at least it’s organic cereal with organic almond milk,” I heard the Spirit speak to my heart.
“Christa,” He said kindly. “You’re the best mom in the whole universe for Moses, which is why I picked you. I love to watch you mother your son, and I’m so so proud of you. YOU. ARE. MORE. THAN. ENOUGH.”
Now you have to understand, He said this to me during a particularly hard week. On paper, I’d been sick and in bed, lost my cool more than usual, and had been away from Moses enough to feel like a ‘bad mom.’ I’d resorted to feeding him a diet of cereal, frozen goods, breads, and cheeses, and was definitely feeling like I hadn’t measured up.
And yet, God still thought I was more than enough.
The thing about my Father is….
He calls things that aren’t as if they are (Romans 4:17). He tells me what HIS TRUTH is over my life, instead of what might be TRUE about my current situation.
As the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart about how amazing I am, tears begin to brim as a lump rose up in my throat.
Could I really be more more than enough, even now, as I’m pouring Moses cereal in a robe… instead of pulling homemade, gluten free, hot muffins out of the oven with an apron on? Could I really be more than enough, right now, even though I’ve been short with him this week? Could I really be more than enough in my marriage when I’ve been nitpicking my husband Luke lately? Could I really be more than enough as a woman in ministry when I feel like I do so little?
Could I really be more than enough when I know I’m capable of being so much more?
Years ago, my mom told me to stop “SHOULDING” on myself.
I laughed at the play on words, immediately understanding the concept in my head to apply it in many areas of my life. I stopped SHOULDING on myself about body image, and my body changed—I thinned down naturally, and my eating disorder went away. I stopped SHOULDING on myself with achievements, wrote a book about how to get free, and suddenly speaking invites started coming in from all over the world.
And as I’m dethroning shame from my life, I’m also kicking out the destructive word ‘SHOULD’ from my vocabulary. Here’s why:
SHOULD=I AM WRONG
SHOULD=I AM NOT ENOUGH
SHOULD=I AM LACKING
The word ‘should’ always starts with LACK—but I’m never in LACK with the God of ABUNDANCE living inside of me, filling me with all that I need. (2 Cor 9:8)
The word ‘should’ always begins with what’s WRONG—but everything I will ever do WRONG has been made RIGHT in Christ. (2 Cor 5:21)
The word ‘should’ always begins with what I am NOT—but all I’m NOT has been supercharged with a supernatural God, making me MORE THAN ENOUGH. (Phil 4:13)
What if we all decided to throw this damaging word out of our lives?
And instead, replace it with the powerfully healing word, ‘COULD?‘
COULD=I HAVE A CHOICE
COULD=I AM ABLE
The past few months, I’ve been really going after my ‘shoulds’ and changing them to ‘coulds.’ I’m determined to stop SHOULDING on myself. And let me tell you, the word COULD has turned my shameful world upside down. COULD takes off all the pressure. COULD makes me feel hopeful. COULD gives me endless possibility.
I woke up several weeks ago feeling sick, exhausted from being up with a newborn all night, and reached for the usual cereal box.
“I COULD make Moses eggs and bacon this morning. But do I really want to feeling this exhausted—and does he even care?” After checking with Moses, he wants cereal. GREAT. No shame!
“I COULD spend more time preparing food this morning, or I COULD curl up with Moses and cuddle before school?” After checking with Moses, he wants a cuddle. GREAT. No shame!
“I COULD spend time in the kitchen this morning, or I COULD just walk down to my favorite juice bar and take Moses on a breakfast date!” After checking with Moses, he wants a date. GREAT. No shame!
The more I started listening to the ‘shoulds’ of my heart, the more I realized… there were all sorts of things that I felt guilty about THAT DIDN’T EVEN MATTER.
I was living under a pile of comparison, measuring myself up to other people, to Instagram accounts, to societal standards, to strangers.
Since I started replacing my SHOULDS with COULDS, a miracle has happened.
I’ve been more productive than I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve cooked more, laughed more, connected more, spent more time with Jesus, with my family, lost more weight, been healthier, more successful, and more fulfilled.
When you have a choice, it’s much easier to make the right one.
So let me ask you a question: Are you shoulding on yourself? And if so, could you work on throwing that word out forever?
- Christa signature
P.S. This article was originally published @ http://christablack.com/2015/11/are-you-shoulding-on-yourself/.